Discussion:
Bob Dorough, 94, jazz musician; composer/singer, "Schoolhouse Rock"
(too old to reply)
That Derek
2018-04-24 01:12:02 UTC
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https://www.thewrap.com/bob-dorough-schoolhouse-rock-dies/

Bob Dorough, ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’ Performer and Writer, Dies at 94

Musician was responsible for tunes including “Three Is a Magic Number” and “My Hero, Zero”

Tim Kenneally | April 23, 2018 @ 5:14 PM

Bob Dorough, the jazz musician who was instrumental in the 1970s educational cartoon series “Schoolhouse Rock!” died Monday in Mt. Bethel, Pennsylvania, a spokesperson for Dorough told TheWrap. He was 94.

During his run with “Schoolhouse Rock!” Dorough wrote and performed iconic numbers including “My Hero, Zero” and “Three Is a Magic Number.”

Dorough, born in Arkansas and raised in Texas, took to music early,joining his high school’s band and serving three years in a special services army band unit.

Dorough was a conductor, accompany player, arranger and conductor for a number of years before recording his first effort of his own, “Devil May Care,” in 1956 for the Bethlehem label. Among the artists Dorough worked with was Miles Davis, recording “Nothing Like You” and “Blue Xmas,” both of which Dorough composed, with Davis in 1962.

“In 1971 he received a commission to ‘set the multiplication tables to music.’ This led to a small industry, being the beginning of ABC-TV’s ‘Schoolhouse Rock,’ Saturday morning cartoons that entertained and instructed unsuspecting children during the years 1973-1985,” Dorough’s biography reads.

The bio adds, “The impact of this media exposure was unpredictably immense. The show came back for another five years in the 90’s and is now enjoying its 40th anniversary with a DVD edition of the entire, five-subject series, for which Dorough worked as the Musical Director.”

In 1995, Dorough signed with the prestigious Blue Note Records label, recording three CDs — “Right on My Way Home,” “Too Much Coffee Man” and “Who’s On First” — for the label.
Bermuda999
2018-04-24 02:25:30 UTC
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On Monday, April 23, 2018 at 9:12:05 PM UTC-4, That Derek wrote:
> https://www.thewrap.com/bob-dorough-schoolhouse-rock-dies/
>
> Bob Dorough, ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’ Performer and Writer, Dies at 94
>
> Musician was responsible for tunes including “Three Is a Magic Number” and “My Hero, Zero”

A serious loss, indeed. However, it should be noted that the writer (David Frishberg, 85) and singer (Jack Sheldon, 86) of Schoolhouse Rock's famous "I'm Just A Bill" are both off-topic
Bermuda999
2018-04-24 02:39:08 UTC
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On Monday, April 23, 2018 at 9:12:05 PM UTC-4, That Derek wrote:
> https://www.thewrap.com/bob-dorough-schoolhouse-rock-dies/
>
> Bob Dorough, ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’ Performer and Writer, Dies at 94


A serious loss, indeed. It's curious that they didn't mention perhaps his most lasting contribution to Schoolhouse Rock, namely "Conjunction Junction", sung by Jack Sheldon. However, it should be noted that the writer (David Frishberg, 85) and singer (Jack Sheldon, 86) of Schoolhouse Rock's famous "I'm Just A Bill" are both off-topic
Charles Richmond
2018-04-24 14:06:26 UTC
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On 4/23/2018 9:39 PM, Bermuda999 wrote:
> On Monday, April 23, 2018 at 9:12:05 PM UTC-4, That Derek wrote:
>> https://www.thewrap.com/bob-dorough-schoolhouse-rock-dies/
>>
>> Bob Dorough, ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’ Performer and Writer, Dies at 94
>
>
> A serious loss, indeed. It's curious that they didn't mention perhaps his most lasting contribution to Schoolhouse Rock, namely "Conjunction Junction", sung by Jack Sheldon. However, it should be noted that the writer (David Frishberg, 85) and singer (Jack Sheldon, 86) of Schoolhouse Rock's famous "I'm Just A Bill" are both off-topic
>

"conjunction junction what's your function..." :-)

--
numerist at aquaporin4 dot com
l***@yahoo.com
2018-04-24 21:04:40 UTC
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So sorry - but he clearly lived longer than most people could expect to.

Btw, there's a book of the lyrics!

https://www.amazon.com/Schoolhouse-Rock-Official-Tom-Yohe/dp/0786881704

Oddly, there's at least one Grammar Rock song not included - "The Tale of Mr. Morton."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtDwgQd8tTI

Sound like Randy Newman to you?

The money songs are missing too, according to the reviews - but I never heard those.

What I wonder is, how did "Elbow Room" ever pass without some severe rewriting - since it was written three years AFTER a well-known book by Dee Brown?


Lenona.
That Derek
2018-04-24 23:37:14 UTC
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>> What I wonder is, how did "Elbow Room" ever pass without some severe rewriting ...

Well, Ms. Lenona, as Stan Laurel would say, "I'm glad you asked."

Around two decades ago circa 1995-96, NYC’s MT&R (Museum of Television & Radio; now known as the Paley Center for Media) presented a panel celebrating “Schoolhouse Rock” featuring singer/composer Bob Dorough and the series’ creators/producers George Newall (deceased) and Tom Yohe (deceased; pronounced “YOH- hee”).

It was a packed auditorium. Most of the audience were comprised of twenty-somethings. At the time, the only iterations available were out-of-print VHSes of “SHR” -- an abomination from the 1980s which were presented thematically (Multiplication Rock; Grammar Rock; America Rock; Science Rock) and were presented by, of all people, Cloris Leachman!

These videotapes featured Ms. Leachman singing and dancing with professional kid performers on the set of an indoor playground. The inane connecting “bumpers” were rife with songs not even lyrically worthy of the original SHR stable of writers (Dorough, Dave Frischberg, Lynn Ahrens, Lori Lieberman, et.al.) with offerings such as “Knock-knock, it’s Schoolhouse Rock/All the kids are dancing from around the block…” Blecch!

I never was fully able to comprehend what cachet Cloris Leachman had with the kidvid set in the mid-1980s. Maybe at the time she had taken over from Charlotte Rae as the star of “The Facts of Life,” but using that to make her marketable to kids is quite a stretch. From how I viewed those tapes, I felt IMHO that it was one day’s work and a quick paycheque for this Academy Award-winning actress.

At the MTR seminar, I asked a double-barreled question from the audience. I queried “In this day and age of political correctness and historical revisionism, have any of the ‘America Rock’ segments come under fire?” which I segued into “Will the ‘Schoolhouse Rocks’ be available soon on video? If so, I sure hope they will be bereft of those lame Cloris Leachman wraparounds.”

As soon as I mentioned Ms. Leachman, the audience cheered me on so uproariously that I didn’t even get the final word “wraparounds” out. I was assured that there was, indeed, going to be a new version WITHOUT Cloris Leachman, One of the producers mentioned that they both had recently been invited to a SHR event at Dartmouth, that the SHR videos were projected on the auditorium’s big screen and that the only ones available for showing were the dreaded 1980s versions … and that the entire Dartmouth audience booed the screen every time Cloris Leachman appeared.

Fielding my first question, Mr. Newall regretted the “Manifest Destiny” line in the US Western expansion themed film “Elbow Room.” Newall said that if he had viewed the Kevin Coatner-produced documentary “500 Nations” (which did not exist circa 1974-75), he never would have green-lit the “It was a Manifest Destiny” lyric.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfoQBTPY7gk

After a pregnant pause, Bob Dorough brought down the house when he remarked in his Huckleberry Hound sound-alike voice: “I didn’t write that one.”

After the presentation, I asked Newall about the Declaration of Independence-themed episode “Fireworks” which repeatedly shows the signers declaring “Life!” and “Liberty!” with jazz singer Grady Tate adding “and the Pursuit of Happiness!” which is accompanied by a colonial guy chasing a colonial woman Harpo Marx-style. That would never fly today. Mr. Newall assured me that that tableau would similarly have been dropped in a modern setting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdZYyY7g8g4

MTR/Paley has always made a practice of video-taping their one-of-a-kind seminars and availing them to museum-goers. Years later, when I wanted to re-visit it, it wasn’t available. A day or two after the NYC event, MTR had flown out Messrs. Newall, Yohe, and Dorough to their sister facility in Beverly Hills for a similar seminar. Since then, MTR/Paley has deigned to make the Beverly Hills seminar available and not the NYC one - the one I attended and and where stirred things up.

So for all intents and purposes, the record of George Newall denouncing elements of “Elbow Room” and “Fireworks” just are not extant.

I stopped maintaining a membership and attending “Paley.” It turns out I have my own "museum of television and radio." It’s called YouTube.

Darn, that’s the end.
l***@yahoo.com
2018-04-25 00:06:49 UTC
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On Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 7:37:15 PM UTC-4, That Derek wrote:

>
> Fielding my first question, Mr. Newall regretted the “Manifest Destiny” line in the US Western expansion themed film “Elbow Room.” Newall said that if he had viewed the Kevin Coatner-produced documentary “500 Nations” (which did not exist circa 1974-75), he never would have green-lit the “It was a Manifest Destiny” lyric.


Does that mean he'd never heard of "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee"? Unlikely, as I hinted.



Lenona.
That Derek
2018-04-25 04:39:32 UTC
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>> Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

I was 11 when "America Rock"/"Bicentennial Rock" first hit the airwaves. I never heard of that tome. To this day, I have never read it. Is it any good?

Anyway, apropos of nothing, I now remember also asking George Newall about "Conjunction Junction." For the uninitiated, this favourite likens conjunctions with connecting railway cars with the primarily used cars emblazoned with the words "AND," "BUT," and "OR."

Having noticed for many years that the "OR" car was an open-aired coal car, I asked Mr. Newall if that was done deliberately having coal ore "O-R-E" in the "OR" car.

My suspicions were confirmed.
Diner
2018-04-25 18:27:37 UTC
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On Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 12:39:35 AM UTC-4, That Derek wrote:
> >> Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
>
> I was 11 when "America Rock"/"Bicentennial Rock" first hit the airwaves. I never heard of that tome. To this day, I have never read it. Is it any good?
>
> Anyway, apropos of nothing, I now remember also asking George Newall about "Conjunction Junction." For the uninitiated, this favourite likens conjunctions with connecting railway cars with the primarily used cars emblazoned with the words "AND," "BUT," and "OR."
>
> Having noticed for many years that the "OR" car was an open-aired coal car, I asked Mr. Newall if that was done deliberately having coal ore "O-R-E" in the "OR" car.
>
> My suspicions were confirmed.


Brilliant. I never would have made that connection in a million years.
A Friend
2018-04-25 18:56:27 UTC
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In article <3270d089-7bec-4e7a-91a4-***@googlegroups.com>,
Diner <***@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 12:39:35 AM UTC-4, That Derek wrote:
> > >> Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
> >
> > I was 11 when "America Rock"/"Bicentennial Rock" first hit the airwaves. I
> > never heard of that tome. To this day, I have never read it. Is it any
> > good?
> >
> > Anyway, apropos of nothing, I now remember also asking George Newall about
> > "Conjunction Junction." For the uninitiated, this favourite likens
> > conjunctions with connecting railway cars with the primarily used cars
> > emblazoned with the words "AND," "BUT," and "OR."
> >
> > Having noticed for many years that the "OR" car was an open-aired coal car,
> > I asked Mr. Newall if that was done deliberately having coal ore "O-R-E" in
> > the "OR" car.
> >
> > My suspicions were confirmed.
>
>
> Brilliant. I never would have made that connection in a million years.


Somebody please explain this to me. "Conjunction Junction" was part of
Grammar Rock, which debuted episodes from 1973 to 1975. "Coal ore" is
a thing in Minecraft, which debuted in 2011. I've never seen coal
described as an ore IRL, which makes sense since coal is just a
burnable rock. Thank you.
p***@gmail.com
2018-04-26 00:07:37 UTC
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On Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 2:56:33 PM UTC-4, A Friend wrote:
> In article <3270d089-7bec-4e7a-91a4-***@googlegroups.com>,
> Diner <***@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 12:39:35 AM UTC-4, That Derek wrote:
> > > >> Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
> > >
> > > I was 11 when "America Rock"/"Bicentennial Rock" first hit the airwaves. I
> > > never heard of that tome. To this day, I have never read it. Is it any
> > > good?
> > >
> > > Anyway, apropos of nothing, I now remember also asking George Newall about
> > > "Conjunction Junction." For the uninitiated, this favourite likens
> > > conjunctions with connecting railway cars with the primarily used cars
> > > emblazoned with the words "AND," "BUT," and "OR."
> > >
> > > Having noticed for many years that the "OR" car was an open-aired coal car,
> > > I asked Mr. Newall if that was done deliberately having coal ore "O-R-E" in
> > > the "OR" car.
> > >
> > > My suspicions were confirmed.
> >
> >
> > Brilliant. I never would have made that connection in a million years.
>
>
> Somebody please explain this to me. "Conjunction Junction" was part of
> Grammar Rock, which debuted episodes from 1973 to 1975. "Coal ore" is
> a thing in Minecraft, which debuted in 2011. I've never seen coal
> described as an ore IRL, which makes sense since coal is just a
> burnable rock. Thank you.

FWIW, the Wiki entry for ore does not list coal among the 30 examples of types of ore. It mentions that ore usually refers to metallic deposits.
David Carson
2018-04-26 02:22:21 UTC
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On Wed, 25 Apr 2018 14:56:27 -0400, A Friend <***@noway.com> wrote:

>In article <3270d089-7bec-4e7a-91a4-***@googlegroups.com>,
>Diner <***@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 12:39:35 AM UTC-4, That Derek wrote:
>> > >> Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
>> >
>> > I was 11 when "America Rock"/"Bicentennial Rock" first hit the airwaves. I
>> > never heard of that tome. To this day, I have never read it. Is it any
>> > good?
>> >
>> > Anyway, apropos of nothing, I now remember also asking George Newall about
>> > "Conjunction Junction." For the uninitiated, this favourite likens
>> > conjunctions with connecting railway cars with the primarily used cars
>> > emblazoned with the words "AND," "BUT," and "OR."
>> >
>> > Having noticed for many years that the "OR" car was an open-aired coal car,
>> > I asked Mr. Newall if that was done deliberately having coal ore "O-R-E" in
>> > the "OR" car.
>> >
>> > My suspicions were confirmed.
>>
>>
>> Brilliant. I never would have made that connection in a million years.
>
>
>Somebody please explain this to me. "Conjunction Junction" was part of
>Grammar Rock, which debuted episodes from 1973 to 1975. "Coal ore" is
>a thing in Minecraft, which debuted in 2011. I've never seen coal
>described as an ore IRL, which makes sense since coal is just a
>burnable rock. Thank you.

Maybe it wasn't meant to be coal, but some kind of ore being carried in a
coal car.
A Friend
2018-04-26 02:40:51 UTC
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In article <pbrd4v$1bt1$***@gioia.aioe.org>, David Carson
<***@neosoft.com> wrote:

> On Wed, 25 Apr 2018 14:56:27 -0400, A Friend <***@noway.com> wrote:
>
> >In article <3270d089-7bec-4e7a-91a4-***@googlegroups.com>,
> >Diner <***@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> On Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 12:39:35 AM UTC-4, That Derek wrote:
> >> > >> Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
> >> >
> >> > I was 11 when "America Rock"/"Bicentennial Rock" first hit the airwaves.
> >> > I
> >> > never heard of that tome. To this day, I have never read it. Is it any
> >> > good?
> >> >
> >> > Anyway, apropos of nothing, I now remember also asking George Newall
> >> > about
> >> > "Conjunction Junction." For the uninitiated, this favourite likens
> >> > conjunctions with connecting railway cars with the primarily used cars
> >> > emblazoned with the words "AND," "BUT," and "OR."
> >> >
> >> > Having noticed for many years that the "OR" car was an open-aired coal
> >> > car,
> >> > I asked Mr. Newall if that was done deliberately having coal ore "O-R-E"
> >> > in
> >> > the "OR" car.
> >> >
> >> > My suspicions were confirmed.
> >>
> >>
> >> Brilliant. I never would have made that connection in a million years.
> >
> >
> >Somebody please explain this to me. "Conjunction Junction" was part of
> >Grammar Rock, which debuted episodes from 1973 to 1975. "Coal ore" is
> >a thing in Minecraft, which debuted in 2011. I've never seen coal
> >described as an ore IRL, which makes sense since coal is just a
> >burnable rock. Thank you.
>
> Maybe it wasn't meant to be coal, but some kind of ore being carried in a
> coal car.

A good thought, but it sure looks like coal to me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPoBE-E8VOc
l***@yahoo.com
2018-04-25 19:09:10 UTC
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On Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 12:39:35 AM UTC-4, That Derek wrote:
> >> Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
>
> I was 11 when "America Rock"/"Bicentennial Rock" first hit the airwaves. I never heard of that tome. To this day, I have never read it. Is it any good?

Um...yes.

George Newall graduated from Florida State University in 1960, I think it was, so he was likely born in the 1930s. I slipped up - the book was about SIX years old when "Elbow Room" was composed. So, again, it's hard to imagine he wouldn't have been aware of the book. (It was a #1 bestseller and was eventually filmed - in 2007, oddly.)

Even without the words "Manifest Destiny," the song's title is cringeworthy, when you're an adult. I realize that if you're going to try to turn the Louisiana Purchase into entertainment, you're likely to sugarcoat it, so maybe this was one subject that should have been saved for the classroom, since we're talking about little kids? (One can't ignore what finally happened to Martin Luther King, after all, if, say, you're going to make HIM the main subject of a piece.)

For what it's worth (offhand, I don't see any big inaccuracies):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bury_My_Heart_at_Wounded_Knee

From the book's inside cover of the old paperback edition (by Newsweek reviewer Geoffrey Wolff):

"The last words of this revisionary history of the American West come from an anonymous Indian: 'They made us many promises,more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.' They are white Americans,like the author of this damning case against our national roots in greed, perfidy, ignorance and malice. The motive force for our theft of land and identity from the Indians was Manifest Destiny, the belief that white men were ordained to rule this continent, a policy that in Dee Brown's words 'lifted land hunger to a lofty plane.'

"Manifest Destiny was a simple instrument to operate, once we got the hang of it. We would buy or battle Indians off the land we wanted. A treaty would be drawn, giving the Indians new land in perpetuity. In perpetuity meant until we wanted the land we had given them. At such times we would ask for the land we had given them to hold forever, and they might refuse to give it up. Their refusal proved they were ignorant savages, and we would defeat them with modern weapons and herd the survivors onto reservations.

"And not only did the American white man steal the land, he also destroyed it, even then. When Kit Carson hunted down and killed a group of Navajos in 1864, destroying their hogans and their livestock, he also chopped down the peach trees they had planted.

“There were atrocity stories, dozens of them. I guess the mutilation of Cheyenne and Arapaho women and children at Sand Creek was the worst, if only because the victims were friendly toward their murderers and were bayoneted, many of them, where they stood huddled beneath an American flag.

“It falls to a journalist reviewing the books of our days to treat the dreadful as though it were commonplace. The books I review…report the destruction of the land, they detail the perversion of justice; they reveal the national stupidities. None of them – not one – has saddened me and shamed me as this book has. Because the experience of reading it has made me realize for once and all that we really don’t know who we are, or where we came from, or what we have done, or why."



Lenona.
l***@yahoo.com
2018-04-25 19:16:04 UTC
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I knew I forgot something - I can't seem to find the entire review. Wolff included the second sentence from this passage:

“Another Chief remembered that since the Great Father promised them that they would never be moved they had been moved five times. 'I think you had better put the Indians on wheels," he said sardonically, "and you can run them about whenever you wish.'"


Lenona.
David Carson
2018-04-25 19:44:39 UTC
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On Wed, 25 Apr 2018 12:09:10 -0700 (PDT), ***@yahoo.com wrote:

>"The last words of this revisionary history of the American West come from an anonymous Indian: 'They made us many promises,more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.' They are white Americans,like the author of this damning case against our national roots in greed, perfidy, ignorance and malice. The motive force for our theft of land and identity from the Indians was Manifest Destiny, the belief that white men were ordained to rule this continent, a policy that in Dee Brown's words 'lifted land hunger to a lofty plane.'

Did the book cover how different tribes of Indians drove each other
off of their lands all the time? Does it cover the atrocities and
broken treaties perpetrated by each group of natives over another?

This is not excusing any wrongs Anglo-Americans committed against
anyone, and certainly some native tribes were more honorable than
others, but the common portrayal of generic "Indians" as people who
were unfamiliar with "greed, perfidy, ignorance, and malice" until
white men came along turns my stomach.

David Carson
p***@gmail.com
2018-04-26 00:01:51 UTC
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On Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 12:39:35 AM UTC-4, That Derek wrote:
> >> Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
>
> I was 11 when "America Rock"/"Bicentennial Rock" first hit the airwaves. I never heard of that tome. To this day, I have never read it. Is it any good?

Contemporary reviews (and later comments) for “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee” (first published 1970):

“Shattering, appalling, compelling...One wonders, reading this searing, heartbreaking book, who, indeed, were the savages.”
—The Washington Post (William McPherson)

“Extraordinarily powerful.”
—Nat Hentoff

“Original, remarkable, and finally heartbreaking . . . Impossible to put down.”
—The New York Times

“The fascinating #1 New York Times bestseller that awakened the world to the destruction of American Indians in the nineteenth-century West”
—The Wall Street Journal


Oh, and here's a review of The Schoolhouse Rock “Elbow Room” tune:

"'There were plenty of fights
To win land right
But the West was meant to be
It was our Manifest Destiny!'

Let it suffice to say that happily belting out a tune in which one merrily praises genocide is always easier for those whose ancestors weren't on the receiving end of the deal."
---Tim Wise
That Derek
2018-04-26 16:49:58 UTC
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Well, it’s probably an insurmountable task to cram historical inaccuracy into a three-minute cartoon. Take, for example, another celebrated “America Rock” segment “The Preamble,” written by Lyn Ahrens. Over the years, educators have praised this episode for setting the Preamble to the US Constitution to music. Hey, I would not be able to recite it if ‘t’weren’t for the song.

Anyhow, the “Preamble” is sung twice – once accompanied by imagery in a colonial-era setting, and then with contemporary equivalents. Minutemen give way to modern soldiers, a voting box yields to a 1970s voting booth (choices on the levers include producers George Newall and Tom Yohe, and composer/singer Lyn Ahrens), the original Constitution being stamped “OK” and the modern one with “RIGHT ON,” and, interestingly, an 18th century jury eventuating a modern one.

The problem is that the colonial jury comprises a gender/ethnic mix which includes five womean, an African-American gentleman, and what looks like a Native-American wearing a coon-skinned cap and a bushy-haired fellow who might be Hispanic. The same jurors are depicted in the 1970s sequence, this time in modern-day dress.

Yes, we, the viewers, know what was done for the sake of limited/repeated animation, but, when I was quite impressionable while viewing these “Americas Rocks” first-run, even I could figure out that an all-inclusive jury was historically inaccurate for the 1790s.

The recent arguments for retiring statues and monuments honouring slaveholders and genocidists invokes further arguments that said monuments arose in an era when it was acceptable to erect such, and that by removing these statues, one further denies not only the "oppressors" but also the folks who honoured them in subsequent years.

“America Rock” was a product of ITS era when the entire country was in a gung-ho celebratory mood in anticipation of the nation’s bicentennial in 1976. Like its contemporaneous elementary school curricula, the issues of the “Trail of Tears” and the actual hardships of slavery were simply subjugated and side-stepped.

Looking back, the years leading up to the American Bicentennial were rife with “Bicentennial Minutes,” the Broadway/film musical “1776” [it’s one of my favourite films in spite of its flaws, both historically and aesthetically], “Captain America’s Bicentennial Battles,” Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom,” Henry Gibson’s song “200 Years” in Robert Altman’s “Nashville,” and Jane Curtin portraying a parody of a patriotic middle-American housewife caught up in all of this as a commentator on SNL’s “Weekend Update” [Chevy Chase made faces at her behind her back].

All the celebration of 200 years forty-plus years ago will be probably be the last time it was, unfortunately, acceptable to praise the efforts of European-American Caucasian males at the exclusions of women and minorities. You’re not going to see anything resembling historical exclusivity when the Sestercentennial rolls around in 2026.
p***@gmail.com
2018-04-26 21:11:41 UTC
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On Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 12:50:01 PM UTC-4, That Derek wrote:
> Well, it’s probably an insurmountable task to cram historical inaccuracy into a three-minute cartoon.

I'm not sure that is what you wanted to write.

But the comments made here about "Elbow Room" are not made lightly or knee-jerkedly. It is one thing to say "They had to leave some things out in the interest of time or rhyme". It is quite another to write a song about Manifest Destiny (and specifically using the term "Manifest Destiny" in the lyrics) and pretend that "Indian Removal", stolen lands, forced assimilation, and mass murders by United States government employees were not integral parts of Manifest Destiny.

If that was not conducive to a jaunty song for kids, then maybe Manifest Destiny was not a very good topic for Schoolhouse Rock.
l***@yahoo.com
2018-04-26 23:43:18 UTC
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On Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 5:11:43 PM UTC-4, ***@gmail.com wrote:

>
> But the comments made here about "Elbow Room" are not made lightly or knee-jerkedly. It is one thing to say "They had to leave some things out in the interest of time or rhyme". It is quite another to write a song about Manifest Destiny (and specifically using the term "Manifest Destiny" in the lyrics) and pretend that "Indian Removal", stolen lands, forced assimilation, and mass murders by United States government employees were not integral parts of Manifest Destiny.
>
> If that was not conducive to a jaunty song for kids, then maybe Manifest Destiny was not a very good topic for Schoolhouse Rock.


Thank you. Exactly what I was saying. After all, the producers didn't even create as much as a dozen songs for "America Rock," and there are MANY historical subjects to choose from; why not choose, say, the Lewis & Clark expedition, even if that wasn't 100% benign?

And re "Preamble," I certainly wouldn't have complained if they'd made the colonial jury realistic. But even if they were just exercising a little poetic license so as not to be too distracting to young viewers, that's still hardly worth complaining about, compared to "Elbow Room."

Btw, in "Preamble," there's one very amusing, unexpected, AND realistic bit that starts at 2:27 and ends at 2:38. Check it out. (I swear, it's been so long since I saw/heard that cartoon that I didn't even remember where the song came from - till now!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxVUpBukACk


Lenona.
RH Draney
2018-04-27 02:51:34 UTC
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On 4/26/2018 9:49 AM, That Derek wrote:
>
> Looking back, the years leading up to the American Bicentennial were rife with “Bicentennial Minutes,” the Broadway/film musical “1776” [it’s one of my favourite films in spite of its flaws, both historically and aesthetically], “Captain America’s Bicentennial Battles,” Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom,” Henry Gibson’s song “200 Years” in Robert Altman’s “Nashville,” and Jane Curtin portraying a parody of a patriotic middle-American housewife caught up in all of this as a commentator on SNL’s “Weekend Update” [Chevy Chase made faces at her behind her back].

Elton's song may have made *you* think of the Founding Fathers, but it
was written for Billie Jean King's tennis team....r
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